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Technological Determinism and Media Determinsim - Essay Example

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He tries to look at whether technology is the cause or the effect of our culture, and postulates that if it is the effect, then there lies a more fundamental…
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Technological Determinism and Media Determinsim
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Technological Determinism and Media Determinsim

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Technological determinism, attributed to Marshall McLuhan, frames questions around technology in terms on what effect technology has on culture. Marshall McLuhan when discussing media determinism states that the medium is the message. The personal and social consequences of any medium result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves or by new technology. The medium of conveying the information is bigger that the information, the information results as a consequence of the medium. He goes further to state that it is not the media but what one does with it that makes it important, makes it have consequences. (McLuhan)
Raymond Williams on discussing cause and effect states that for a piece of technology to be in existence, something must have necessitated its creation. Alternatively, he states that technology occurred as a result of a sequence of events which might not have necessarily been geared toward the discovery of that piece of technology. Through all this he maintains that technology is self-generating. (Williams)
I choose to look at technology as being developed with certain purposes in mind, and not in a haphazard manner as Williams tends to suggest. Taking the example of the television, one would be remiss not to see that there was a need to capture and transmit so as to occupy the time of the citizenry at the time, i.e. fulfil a particular purpose. Debates were had as to how much time one would spend watching television but none of them envisioned the impact that the television would have on their culture. (Williams)
Another way to look at technology would be technological advancement brought about by the realization that the particular piece of technology would be used in a particular way. Necessity leading to invention, because of the lack thereof of a certain thing, it prompts an individual to set forth and try to come up with ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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